Paul Stanley Before joining Wicked Lester, Paul Stanley was in Rainbow (not Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow) and Uncle Joe. Stanley joined Wicked Lester, formed by Gene Simmons, in the early 1970s. The band recorded an album in 1971, but as of 2005 it has never been officially released (although songs from the album appeared on KISS's 2001 box set). Wicked Lester broke up not long after, but Stanley and Simmons - along with Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, would re-form as KISS shortly thereafter. KISS released their self-titled debut in February 1974.
Paul's persona in KISS is "The Starchild", apparently a reference to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, which portrays an astronaut's transformation into a higher being resembling a fetus called the Star Child. Stanley's persona is that of a Don Juan-esque lover, combining effeminate elements with elements of extreme masculinity, rather than mere androgyny. Although Paul's voice is generally very soft and eloquent during normal conversation, he uses a specific "stage voice" which is a mix of quasi-African-American urban patois, faux-drag queen bluster, and yodeling preacher spiel, much like Gene Simmons adopts an animalistic growl on stage.
In his book Sex Money KISS, Gene Simmons admits that Paul was the driving force for KISS during the makeup-free 1980s, while Simmons was feeling lost without his Demon makeup and attempting to launch a film career.
In 1999 Stanley starred in a Toronto production of Phantom of the Opera, in which he played the role of The Phantom. He appeared in the musical from May 25 to August 1, and again that year from September 30 to October 31. This made him the brunt of criticism from fans of both KISS and The Phantom of the Opera. Reviews from KISS fans were generally positive, whereas reviews from Phantom fans were generally negative.
While in Toronto, Stanley was contacted by AboutFace, an organization that provides support and information to individuals with facial differences, and asked to help raise awareness for them. Although he was approached due to his role as The Phantom, Stanley was in fact born with Microtia, a congential deformity of the pinna (outer ear). He has appeared at fundraising events and in videos for the organization.
In 2001 Stanley's wife, Dallas native Pamela Bowen, filed for divorce. They have one son, Evan Shane Stanley.
Stanley is not, as urban legend has it, the son of Al Eisen (inventor and commercial spokesman for "2000 Flushes"). His parents (William and Eve) have appeared in a number of KISS documentaries.
Stanley badly needed hip replacement surgery but suffered through the Rock The Nation tour first, finally getting the surgery in October 2005. Complications from the surgery required a second in December of that year, and in December 2005 it has been announced that a third hip surgery will be necessary. Stanley regards the degeneration of his left hip as partly the product of thousands of shows performed since the early 1970s.
In 2005 Stanley made his debut as a painter, exhibiting and selling original works of art. He is currently recording a solo album, the first since his 1978 KISS solo album, and planning a solo tour. He also has four signature guitars made by Silvertone. His former signature guitars include the Ibanez Iceman and the Washburn PS2000.
In 2005, Paul began working with guitarist Ronnie Montrose as a guest vocalist on Montrose's latest album.
On November 19th 2005, Paul Stanley married longtime girlfriend Erin Sutton at The Ritz-Carlton, Huntington in Pasadena, California. Stanley has reportedly completed work on a solo album to be entitled Live to Win. No official release date has been announced.